Dr. Colleen Witzenburg, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Biomedical Engineering Joins CVRC T32 Training Program As Associate Trainer.


Where did you grow up?

I grew up in Apple Valley, Minnesota. It is a southern suburb of the Twin Cities.

What is your educational/professional background?

I earned my B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Iowa State University. Then, I received my M.S. and Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Minnesota. Finally, I received postdoctoral fellowships from both the American Heart Association and the Hartwell Foundation when at the University of Virgi

What is the main goal of current research?

The main goal of our research is to use computational and experimental techniques to predict when and where pathologic changes to cardiovascular soft tissues alter their material properties causing disruption in function.

What attracted you to become a trainer in the T32 program?

I started attending CVRC events as a new faculty member and was impressed by the breadth (basic science, clinical, molecular biology, vascular physiology, etc) and enthusiasm of the investigators in the CVRC. Faculty regularly attend events, lead discussions, and ask probing questions. It was clear that the CVRC T32 program provides a great community for trainees to develop both their science and communication skills.

Who is your current trainee and what do you hope to accomplish during their time under your mentorship?

My current trainee is Madison Freeman. Her primary advisor Dr. Naomi Chesler recently left the University of Wisconsin-Madison to become the Director of The Edwards Lifesciences Center for Advanced Cardiovascular Technology at the University of California – Irvine. Madison has been working with Dr. Chesler on a computational model coupling mechanics and energetics to simulate right ventricular function at following hypoxia. In the next phase of her project, Madison’s goal is to simulate changes in ventricular growth and remodeling. I’m enjoying acting as Madison’s local UW mentor and sharing my passion for computational modeling.

What are your hobbies/other interests?

I run on curiosity and chocolate and love jogging with my dog Pavlov and trying out different local restaurants.

Witzenburg Lab